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Home > Hunger Games Prequel: Rachel Zegler’s Lucy Gray Baird Is the “Anti-Katniss” Says Director

Hunger Games Prequel: Rachel Zegler’s Lucy Gray Baird Is the “Anti-Katniss” Says Director

Hunger Games

The Ballad of Snakes and Songbirds - New Lead is a Far Cry from Katniss

Anti-Katniss

Anti-Catnip? Cover your feline friend’s ears since her favorite pastime is to get high off the greens and subsequently attack your favorite household plants. But upon second glance, we’re actually referring to someone being anti-Katniss – notably the Hunger Games’ prequel’s new protagonist: Lucy Gray Baird (Rachel Zegler.) 

In a recent interview with Empire Magazine, director Francis Lawrence discussed how Lucy is a far cry from the aforementioned hero: Katniss. Instead of being more introverted and asexual, Lucy is an extroverted singer who loves to bask in crowd attention and “wears her sexuality on her sleeve.” Although, one typically flaunts their sexuality by going sleeveless to show off the biceps. Either way, the director is making it clear that Lucy is not a librarian type. Or if she is, she’s the sexy kind. Not the one that helps you navigate the Dewey Decimal System. 

Why Isn’t Katniss in the Prequel?

It’s set more than 60 years before the other Katniss-helmed films, so Katniss would have been too young to make an appearance. But with CGI there could have been a Benjamin Button-style Katniss i.e. baby Katniss.

Hunger Games

However, rumor has it that the studio execs scrapped this idea after test audiences disapproved of seeing a starving baby crawl around battling people to the death, as cute as she was. 

Instead, the big execs went back to their casting roots and chose an alluring, 20-something woman as the lead.

What Can We Expect in the Film?

It’s based on the 2020 Suzanne Collins novel that dives into the history of President Coriolanus Snow’s youth. (He was played by the talented Donald Sutherland in the other franchise films.) In this prequel, his young self (Tom Blyth) mentors District 12’s Lucy Gray Baird for the 10th Hunger Games. 

Perfectly Stoic vs. Hyper-sexualized

As good as Jennifer Lawrence was in her role as the reluctant hero Katniss, it’s promising to see a director express excitement about a female action star with a distinct character arc. Women are more nuanced than just being perfectly stoic or hyper-sexualized, and it’s great that studios are embracing these female heroes in all their complicated glory. 

The Hunger Games prequel will be released on November 17th. 

Hunger Games

Source: Dead Talk Live

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Laura is a screenwriter and script consultant based in New York. She has a penchant for absurd comedy and psychological thrillers.
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